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8

September

2011

So Who Uses Social Media Anyway? Survey Shows 50% of All U.S. Adults Do :

In 2008, a study by the Pew Research Center showed that only 29% of adult Internet users use social media, which includes sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. However, in a follow-up study released last week, Pew saw that number more than double. Now 65% of adult Internet users say they use social media, and 50% of all respondents – regardless if they used the Internet – said they did the same.

The Pew study consisted of a phone survey of 2,277 adults, and from that study respondents were asked many questions about social media, including “What is one word that describes your experience using social networking sites?” The most common word used was “Good.” While this can indicate that, overall, people aren’t ecstatic using social media, they are at least satisfied using it.

The most popular online activity is still email (61%), and the second most popular activity is using search engines, with 59% of respondents using search daily. But now social media is a not-too-distant third, and it’s growing. The growth in users still comes mostly from seniors, as in the last two years social networking use among Internet users 65 or older has increased by 150%. However, it is also the seniors who are least likely to use social media regularly.

The sharpest rise in regular social media users fall in the 30-49 age bracket. 46% of respondents in this age category reported using social media “yesterday,” and in 2008 that number was only 9%.

The real meat of this study, one could say, is how popular social media is among Internet users. As the study indicated, social networking is the third most popular activity behind email and search. So the question for you is simply, “Is your business present in the social media realm, which is now where 50% of all adult Internet users are?” If not, shouldn’t it be?